When Spotify began its crackdown on hacked apps last month, there were mixed reactions. On the one hand, bypassing an app’s payment model is clearly wrong, but the mobile version’s intentional restrictions don’t feel honest either.
It seems Spotify has finally found a middle ground. It won’t be adding desktop-level functionality any time soon, but it has brought more features to free users. The main one is the ability to play songs without shuffling, but it comes with some restrictions.
Users will only get the on-demand access but only on certain playlists. There will be a total of fifteen curated playlists, including Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix. On these, you’ll be able to listen to songs as many times as you like, in any order, with unlimited skips.
AI and Data Saver
Users will also get access to Spotify’s AI-driven recommendations. Starting the app will prompt users to enter their preferences, and that data will them be used to create custom playlists from the very start. It will also use their created playlists to inform decisions.
Finally, the app will get a ‘Data Saver’ mode that will cache music ahead of time and will optimize music for low usage. The idea is to persuade free users who aren’t upgrading to premium due to data concerns.
Of course, it all comes with a new interface and design tweaks for a better looking, streamlined experience. These features will begin rolling out to users today, though it’s not clear how the situation will vary by region.